Colton Simpson’s autobiography impressed literary critics last fall with its raw account of the L.A. gang underworld and his war stories of life as a thief, thug and triggerman in the bloody battle between the Crips and Bloods. The book, “Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang,” was publicized as a tale of the former Crip’s redemption. But it could help a Riverside County prosecutor send Simpson, 39, to prison for life, without possibility of parole, for the theft of an $800 diamond earring, reports the Los Angeles Times.
A Superior Court judge is allowing portions of Simpson’s book to be used as evidence when jurors in his robbery trial, set to begin next month, consider whether he drove the getaway car in a Temecula jewel heist in 2003. Allowing a book to be used as evidence is a rarity in a criminal trial – so too is having a defendant accused of a felony so similar to crimes he admits in a tell-all autobiography. “Inside the Crips,” published in August by St. Martin’s Press, was publicized as a “true and accurate” account. It is among a handful of gang memoirs by veteran street warriors, including “Life in Prison” by the recently executed Stanley Tookie Williams.